The Alabama State University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics announced the inaugural class of the Hall of Fame this month during its homecoming contest.
The class features 17 members from different decades including multiple leading scorers in basketball, a trio of quarterbacks who stand atop the record book, a record-breaking coach, and a national championship team. The selections were nominated, then voted on by the Hall of Fame Committee before the class was announced this month.
Former women’s basketball player Alfredda Abernathy finished her career at Alabama State as the leading scorer in women’s basketball and was named AIAW All-Tournament all four years. Not only was Abernathy a scorer, she also grabbed over 1,000 career rebounds over a four-year period.
Brad Baxter was a three-time all-conference performer in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) during his time at running back for the Hornets. He finished his career as the school’s all-time leading rusher and scored 30 career touchdowns. He later went on to an NFL career with the New York Jets.
Former quarterback Darnell Kennedy finished his career as one of the most prolific passers in SWAC history over a four-year span. He finished with 11,753 yards and 102 touchdowns over a four-year period, completing 859 passes. He also piled up 12,888 yards of total offense – both school records.
Lewis Jackson broke into the starting lineup at Alabama State as a freshman, scoring 2,203 points in his career – the fourth-highest mark at the school. During his senior season, he was named the SWAC Player of the Year, Black College Basketball Player of the Year and a Black College All-American. He was drafted by the Golden State Warriors and earned an invitation to try out for Team USA basketball.
Steve Rogers finished his career as one of the most prolific scorers in SWAC history. He was a First Team All-SWAC selection twice, earning Newcomer of the Year honors as a sophomore He was named SWAC Player of the Year and earned All-American honors in 1991 and 1992. Rogers finished his career with 2,471 points placing him third all-time at Alabama. He was a second-round draft choice of the New Jersey Nets.
Reggie Barlow finished his career at Alabama State as the third leading receiver at Alabama State. He hauled in 133 receptions for 2,536 yards with 17 touchdowns. His best season came in 1994 when he hauled in 58 passes for 1,267 yards and 12 touchdowns. Barlow would go on to win a Super Bowl with Tampa Bay before returning to his alma mater as the head coach.
Reginald Brown, a member of the 1991 HBCU National Championship team, finished his career just one catch behind fellow Hall of Fame selection Barlow. He finished with 132 receptions for 2,271 yards and 23 touchdowns. He recorded 48 receptions for 815 yards and eight touchdowns during the 1990 season.
Rickey Jones, who led Alabama State to the 1991 HBCU National Championship from under center and finished his career as the leader in total offense (he is currently second all-time) with 6,823 yards. He finished his career with 5,456 yards (passing) and 1,273 yards rushing), and he is second all-time in passing (including 49 touchdowns).
Shameka Jackson finished her career as one of the most prolific women’s basketball players in conference history. She earned Player of the Year honors in 2002-03 and was a three-time all-conference selection in her career. She became just the fourth player in conference history to score 2,000 points, finishing with 2,094 – the second-highest mark in conference history.
Former quarterback Tarvaris Jackson was inducted into the Ring of Honor earlier this season and is fourth all-time at the school in passing with 4,898 yards and 38 touchdowns. He also finished his career fourth in total offense with 5,709 total yards and recorded the third best passing season (2004) with 2,556 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Eddie Robinson, a two-time All-SWAC performer and a member of the 1991 HBCU National Championship team, finished his career as a two-time SWAC Defensive Player of the Year selection and Sheridan Black College All-American. He was named the Black College Sports Defensive Player of the Year in 1991 and was named a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy before being drafted in the second round of the NFL Draft by the Houston Oilers.
The 1991 Alabama State football team captured the HBCU National Championship with an 11-0-1 record. The team scored four or more points five times in the season, and defeated North Carolina A&T in the Heritage Bowl to win the championship.
George Lockhart was a long-time coach and administrator at Alabama State and started the baseball program in 1926. His name is on the current home of the Alabama State volleyball team.
John Garrick Hardy moved to Montgomery at the age of four and attended Alabama State beginning in ninth grade. He learned to play sports and musical instruments, and currently has the student center named after him on campus.
Olean Black Underwood attended Alabama State from 1968 to 1972 where they were no athletic programs for women. The tennis center for both men’s and women’s tennis stand in her name.
Charles Mitchell became the first player from Alabama State to be drafted into the National Football League (NFL). He later went on to become an assistant coach at Alabama State and a long-time high school coach in Michigan. While a student-athlete he was a quarterback and defensive back and intercepted 13 passes in his first year as a defensive back. He was also a punter and was the first Alabama State student-athlete named to the Blue-Gray Football Game.
Former men’s basketball coach CJ Dunn served Alabama State for 46 years over his career. He served as the baseball coach, basketball coach, and athletic director, while also serving as the Dean of Students and as a professor. During his time as the head basketball coach, the Hornets won 298 games, the most wins of any coach.
An induction date will be set for 2022 for this class of selections into the Alabama State University Athletics Hall of Fame.